The crest of the wave?

gold adhesive letters

This $2.00 packet of metallic gold, adhesive letters (from a $2 shop, of course) provided inspiration for the past weekend’s project. I had decided that a version of our school badge – perhaps in three dimensions and in colours of white and burgundy ? – might be the most suitable design piece for the large blank, burgundy space above the windows of the library office, and a counter balance for the big “READ” sign in the far corner. When I saw these letters, I realised that “P E N R I T H” would actually be perfect scale to the photocopy of the school badge I’d enlarged to A3 earlier in the day.

Crest creation

On Saturday morning, I noticed that I’d left my A3 pattern at work/school, so out came the trusty ruler and pencil and I enlarged the small photocopy I did have.

I still had a spare Officeworks‘ plastic and cork “bulletin bar” (at $1.99), so I painted this burgundy and incorporated the shape so it would support the two main sections of shield and scroll, and might even give the illusion of a three-dimensional shaft section of the rocket which blasts off from our school badge (originally designed in the late 60s inspired by the 1969 NASA moon landing, I understand). The first version of the badge was in yellow and brown, the old school uniform colours, but it’s been red, white and blue for many years now, and simply black and white on letterheads, etc. I wasn’t changing the school colours here, but a rendition of the b/w badge using white and burgundy as the contrasting colours.

From Eckersley’s art supply store, I bought an A2 sheet of layered 5mm foamboard (@ $4.95), but I still have a lot, equivalent to A3 size, left over. These foamboards are more sturdy and resilient than cardboard, and come in numerous colours. I found a distinctively off-white variety, and a pure white one. Since the white lettering I’d been painting these past few weeks is lacquered, and isn’t really a stark white, the off-white foamboard seemed the best choice.


A Stanley knife was used to cut out the shapes I needed. The rocket became a cut-out hole, while the scroll had extra shapes to bring some parts into the foreground. The letters, plus two spare magnetic letters (ie. in the same font as the URL signage), were painted burgundy, lacquered with matt varnish, and glued into place. The school motto is a print-out from the computer. Essentially, the finished design is in four layers, and should cast some interesting little shadows.

My main concern was that it had to look classy, but it also had to be cheaper than a commissioned styrofoam sign from a professional signwriter.

Above window reno

This morning, I used nails to secure the three plastic strips to the wall. In case we ever get a new library built one day, I’m planning to take all my handiwork with me! Because the library’s closed for stocktake this week, there has been very few visitors and I’m anxious to show off my latest handiwork.

Desk end of library - final

The grey, soft-covered piping that emerges from the air-conditioner and connects to conduit is still giving me grief. I’m not game to paint it, in case the plastic-like material repels the paint. Maybe I’ll try wrapping it in burgundy ribbon? Happily, the ugly grey conduit disappears against the wall when covered in the burgundy paint.

The more we do to improve the look of this end of the school library, the more we reveal of the huge windows… and the mess beyond. My clerical assistant has been extremely busy removing my untidy “piles of stuff” from the tops of each vertical filing cabinet. Thanks Louise!

url above office window

Total cost of this makeover: Add another $8.94 to last week’s $39.96 and you’ll get $48.90. I think. 😉

The ABC of URLs

I’m at it again!

There has been considerable mulling going on. While collecting some exciting accolades, both in person and online, I’ve been considering how best to proceed: what bits of the library to work on next – and which will yield maximum returns for minimal outlay?

Considering advice from several people, I decided to splurge another $11.99, at Spotlight, on a second container of the burgundy Derivan Matisse background paint, and to extend the rich splash of colour across the top of the office windows (see below; top right of picture), covering up more of the ugly, varnished woodgrain panelling.
More burgundy

I didn’t end up getting a raw “Before” shot because, up until now, I’ve been avoiding taking this angle from so far back. An ugly piece of thin, grey conduit (leading from a non-functional air conditioner) had been intruding through the airspace, but I was brave yesterday… and I simply removed it. (Last year, an electrical specialist declared Air Conditioner #4 dead. He unhitched one end of the conduit – but some other helpful soul kept restoring the conduit, and/or attempting to switch on the machine.)

Kevin Hennah had suggested, at the recent conference on library design and redesign, that many libraries were now showcasing their URL (of the library’s Internet presence), when creating new signage, and I thought that the far right corner might be balanced with a large white version of the school crest?

Wandering through a local bargain shop yesterday, I found packets of 26 plastic magnetised letters of the alphabet – for only $2.50 a packet. To get sufficient “i”‘s, I required four packets. Two “j”‘s were forfeited to cut free some full stops for the URL. A spray can of white paint ($13.99) would cover the bright fluoro colours! (And I need some more strong glue, having splurted the last tube all over myself – it must have been faulty at the sealed end.)

But how to mount the letters? I found some long plastic-and-cork “bulletin bars” from Officeworks. At $1.99 each, these were a steal! I’ll be able to fasten the letters securely to two of these plastic bars, and only worry about nailing up the bars, not each individual letter.

Magnetic letters

Here’s a test of the white-undercoated plastic letters, spelling out the URL of our school library wiki site, lined up for fit on the two now-burgundy bulletin bars:
URL undercoat

Total cost of this makeover (so far): $39.96 (but lots of paint and little plastic letters left over). Watch this space!

Like… here:

slim url

To be noted, be noteworthy

In January 2007, I attended a small gathering of semi-professional and professional bloggers and, without a doubt, the tip of the evening came from Steven Noble, then of Hill & Knowlton, who used to write a blog for them called Elbow Grease: Getting Results in PR & Digital Communication.

Steve told us, “If you want to be noted by a particular audience, the first step is to ask how you, in their eyes, can be noteworthy.”

Of late, that quote has become a very useful, personal touchstone for me in the realms of both blogging and teacher-librarianship.

My main links for my talks at ISLA on Thursday are:

Primary educators

* Kindergarten weaves a wiki

* Book raps and event raps – Beijing Olympics & Book Week 2008 (Stage 2)

* The Shaggy Penrith Times – supporting the Rap

* Blogs – eg. Goldquest (Stage 3)

* Professionals blogging.

Secondary educators

* Identity rap

* Goldquest blog – two schools interacting

* Wikis – for shared projects

* Professionals blogging.